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Halloween: Twenty Spooky Stories

The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson (~ 7,500 words)

The Brazillian Cat by Authur Conan Doyle (~ 8,000 words)

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft (~ 12,000 words)

The Cedar Closet by Lafcadio Hearn (~ 3,750 words)

Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker (~ 4,750 words)

The Furnished Room by O. Henry (~ 2,500 words)

The Haunted Author by Marcus Clarke (~ 1,500 words)

John Charrington's Wedding by E. Nesbit (~ 3,000 words)

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (~ 3,500 words)

The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs (~ 4,000 words)

The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley (~ 5,500 words)

Nerves by Anton Chekhov (~ 1,500 words)

The Night Wire by H. F. Arnold (~ 2,500 words)

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce (~ 3,750 words)

Oh Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M.R. James (~ 8,000 words)

The Signalman by Charles Dickens (~ 5,000 words)

Sredni Vashtar by Saki (~ 1,750 words)

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (~ 2,000 words)

A Terribly Strange Bed by Wilkie Collins (~ 6,750 words)

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (~ 6,000 words)

* * *

Update: In the comments, Em asks, "what about Washington Irving?" Ah, yes. Well, I originally drew the line at 10,000 words, but, in the end, couldn't bring myself omit Call of Cthulhu. Having broken my own rule once, I see no reason not to do so again.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (~ 12,000 words)

And, while we're at it:

Afterward by Edith Wharton (~ 12,000 words)

Posted on October 30, 2007 to Links


if too lazy to read, listen to the Classic Tales Podcast

Posted by: Anonymous on October 30, 2007 10:57 AM

DAMN YOU MATT why do you hate my productivity?

Posted by: everichon on October 30, 2007 11:18 AM

So glad you included M.R. James. That story was actually made into a very scary short (if I remember correctly) film. Black and white, beautifully shot. Gorgeous stuff.

Posted by: Shannon on October 30, 2007 12:18 PM


Posted by: Rob Cockerham on October 30, 2007 1:59 PM

The Yellow Wallpaper: Terrifying on so many levels, like Rosemary's Baby.

Posted by: Anonymous on October 30, 2007 2:19 PM

And if you're brutally lazy, check my 10 free public domain scary movies. I think I'm dragging down the IQ around here again...

Posted by: Jon on October 30, 2007 2:46 PM

Great list. Kudos on the M.R. James--"Ghost Stories of an Antiquary" has to be one of the scariest books of all time.

Posted by: Karen on October 30, 2007 3:34 PM

Ooh, great list, but what about Washington Irving?

Posted by: Em on October 30, 2007 5:07 PM

My pitchers are pretty scary. Especially the ones with the Hummel Figurines having Satanic group sex. Man, I'm so hard right now.

Posted by: Thomas Kinkade on October 30, 2007 8:13 PM

Not Halloween-spooky, but creepy on the same levels as "The Yellow Wallpaper" and "Occurrence"-- D.H. Lawrence's "Rocking Horse Winner".

Posted by: lo on October 30, 2007 10:59 PM

Great collection of stories, but why does Rob Cockerham have to be the funniest commenter ever? Ever!

Posted by: Phill on October 31, 2007 3:06 AM

Great list, but what about Irving Washington?

Posted by: Nic on October 31, 2007 5:56 AM

Great list, how about Irving Washington though?

Posted by: Nic on October 31, 2007 6:05 AM

I'm loving your list, but what about Flannery O'Connor? Some of the spookiest...

Posted by: JAW on October 31, 2007 6:58 AM

Cast of Amontillado!!

Posted by: Ashik on October 31, 2007 4:24 PM

I did my first undergrad research paper on "Afterward." It stands out in my mind as one of the best-written short stories, of any genre, of all time. The more time I spent studying it the more detail I noticed: the thing is crafted like a house made of cinnabar. It so rocks that you included it.

Posted by: The Scarlet Pervygirl on November 1, 2007 3:43 AM